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  1. #1
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    Obama commutes Chelsea Manning sentence

    Obama commutes Chelsea Manning sentence

    • 41 minutes ago 1/17/17

      Image copyright AP Image caption Manning declared her new identity the day after sentencing

    President Barack Obama has commuted Chelsea Manning's sentence for leaking documents to Wikileaks in 2010.

    The 29-year-old transgender US Army private, born Bradley Manning, will be freed on 17 May instead of her scheduled 2045 release.

    The was sentenced to 35 years in 2013 for her role in leaking diplomatic cables to the anti-secrecy group.
    The leak was one of the largest breaches of classified material in US history.

    The White House had suggested in recent days it was open to commuting Manning's sentence.

    She twice attempted suicide last year at the male military prison where she is being held at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

    Manning also went on a hunger strike last year, which ended after the military agreed to provide her with gender dysphoria treatment.

    In one of his final acts as president, Mr Obama granted commutation of sentences to 209 individuals and pardons to 64 others.

    What was in the leaked cables?

    The US Army charged Manning with 22 counts relating to the unauthorised possession and distribution of more than 700,000 secret diplomatic and military documents and video.

    Included in those files was video footage of an Apache helicopter killing 12 civilians in Baghdad in 2007.

    Manning also passed on sensitive messages between US diplomats, intelligence assessments of Guantanamo detainees being held without trial and military records from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    The disclosures were considered an embarrassment to the US, prompting the Obama administration to crack down on government leaks.

    At a sentencing hearing, Manning apologised for "hurting the US" and said she had mistakenly thought she could "change the world for the better".

    What next for Julian Assange?

    Wikileaks, the anti-secrecy organisation which published the diplomatic cables, has previously said its founder Julian Assange would agree to be extradited to the US if Mr Obama granted clemency to Manning.

    Mr Assange, who has taken refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012, did not immediately comment on whether he plans to surrender.

    But he did tweet: "Thank you to everyone who campaigned for Chelsea Manning's clemency. Your courage & determination made the impossible possible."

    If extradited, he would probably be prosecuted for his role in publishing millions of leaked, classified documents.

    The White House said the Manning commutation was not influenced in any way by Mr Assange's extradition offer.

    Why no pardon for Edward Snowden?

    More than a million supporters of Edward Snowden have petitioned President Barack Obama to pardon him.
    But according to the White House, the National Security Agency leaker has not himself submitted the necessary documents for clemency.

    In November, Mr Obama told German newspaper Der Spiegel: "I can't pardon somebody who hasn't gone before a court and presented themselves."

    The White House last week pointed out that Manning had passed through the US military justice system and acknowledged her crimes.

    Mr Snowden, however, fled the US in 2013, evading charges in America which could put him in prison for up to 30 years, and obtained temporary asylum in Russia.

    White House spokesman Josh Earnest said "the disclosures by Edward Snowden were far more serious and far more dangerous".

    He had also "fled into the arms of an adversary and has sought refuge in a country that most recently made a concerted effort to undermine the confidence in our democracy", Mr Earnest added.

    As news of Manning's commutation emerged, Russia's foreign ministry said Mr Snowden's permission to stay in Russia had been extended for another two years.

    How do pardons and commutations work?

    Mr Obama has commuted 1,385 sentences and issued 212 pardons, more than the total granted by the past 12 presidents combined.

    In America, a pardon not only lifts the sentence but removes other penalties such as the bar on convicted felons sitting on federal juries, and state-level prohibitions on such things as voting or possession of firearms.

    A commutation means the sentence is lifted but the civil handicaps outlined above remain.

    Neither a pardon not a commutation is an acknowledgment of innocence.

  2. #2
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    Judy likes this.

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  3. #3
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    Personally, I don't think Phil Snowden's releases were dangerous or harmful at all. Americans need to know we were being spied on illegally. We have rights that were being violated. If someone who knows that doesn't tell US, how will we ever know when we're being violated by our own government? Snowden had to leave the country. He didn't flee into the arms of Russia. He fled to Hong Kong, and tried to get into Ecuador or some place like that. He only went to Russia because Russia was the only country who would take him. And he only went to the airport and lived there for months. Then later on Russia took him in to get him out of the airport. Snowden's deal is completely different seems to me, but of course, one can never get an honest statement out of the Obama White House at least not when they're doing wrong.

    I hope Trump can do something for Snowden, but he probably won't. We'll see. I hope Trump has a new appreciation for certain types of whistle-blowing when the rights of Americans are on the line being violated by illegal acts of our government. All those law-breakers in the NSA that Snowden exposed are the ones who should be prosecuted if you ask me, not him

    I know a lot of people see this differently than I do and I understand that he broke the law, but how else would we have ever known what they were doing? We would have never known. Ever.
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